Open Shutter Gallery is pleased to be able to exhibit the photographs
Honor the Earth
Betty LaDuke is a highly accomplished painter, printmaker, activist and teacher whose work celebrates cultural diversity and the planet we live on. It serves as a bridge between people, continents and cultures by sharpening our sensitivity to life's diversity. As the artist has commented, the current body of work honors the special relationship that we have with the
LaDuke was born and raised in New York, the daughter of Russian and Polish immigrants. She traces her interest in other cultures to a multiracial summer camp she attended as a youth and where she had an opportunity to work with African- American artists Charles White and Elizabeth Catlett, both of whom she credits as important mentors and role models. LaDuke lived in Mexico three years before earning her BA and MA degrees from California
Throughout her adult life, LaDuke has worked as a teacher and lecturer. She taught at Grand Street Settlement House in New York in the late 1950s and at Stevenson Junior High School in Los Angeles in the early 1960s. In 1964, she accepted a full-time teaching position at Southern Oregon University in Ashland, and enjoyed a 32 year career on the art faculty. She taught drawing, painting, printmaking and introduced new courses on Women Artists
In 1972, when LaDuke received her first sabbatical from Southern Oregon University, she went to India. This trip would have a profound impact on her life and would set the course for her ongoing journeys to Asia, the South Pacific, Latin America, and Africa. During her annual journeys, LaDuke always carries a sketchbook to record her impressions of people and how they relate to their environment. Later, in her Ashland, Oregon studio, these sketches are catalysts for her large acrylic paintings that evolve slowly between myth and reality.
During these years, LaDuke has been featured in more than 200 one-person exhibitions throughout the United States. In addition to her artwork, she has published six books and four videos on her work and travels. She is an artist and activist who, has been an advocate for social change and racial equality, the rights of women, children, and the underprivileged, and of preserving our environment for generations to come.